“Little Secrets” by Jennifer Hillier is a portrait of two women told in alternating perspectives. It is a dark tale filled with deception, trickery, and lies. Marin Machado owns the high-end Marin Machado Salon & Spa. She and husband Derick have money, abundant money, but money cannot buy what she lost. McKenzie Li works at a coffee shop and struggles to pay her bills. She is not a prostitute; she is a professional girlfriend. Her rates go up if the guy has a wife because they have more to lose. They share Derek, and they share other things as well.
The story opens with a traumatic event that took four minutes; that is how long it took someone to steal a child, Marin’s and Derick’s child, from Pike Place Mall in Seattle. It was Marin’s fault, all of it, and she has lived four hundred eighty-five days with this nightmare. Marin went to therapy, to a support group, and to a private detective. When she discovers yet another dreadful lie, she is sick of being sorry for things that are not her fault. She is filled with rage, and rage is better than sadness. The drama unfolds one secret, one lie, one deception at a time. Readers watch as the liars, all the liars, descend into an ever more complicated web of deceit.
“Little Secrets” has an unusual and unexpected ending, one that is sure to elicit mixed feelings, but certainly matches the personalities of the participants. For readers who might hesitate to read a book which starts with a child’s kidnapping, not to worry, it is not about child abduction or gangs of kidnappers. I received a copy of “Little Secrets” from Jennifer Hillier and St. Martin’s Press. Terrible things happen, and sometimes they lead to more terrible things. However, there is some measure of unusual karma.